Flu Epidemic 2013: What You Need to Know (VIDEO)

This Just In 8

flu epidemicLet's start with the good news: It's not too late to get the flu shot! Even though there are "spot shortages" of the vaccine being reported around the country and this year's flu shot is only considered "moderately" effective (at 62%), it's still your best bet for avoiding this year's bug, which is (ready for the bad news?) a really, really bad one. How bad?

So far this season, more than 2,000 have died in the U.S. of flu-related complications, a number which has "pushed the illness past the 'epidemic' threshold." Oh, and more bad news: The outbreak could be far from over.

While some experts were hoping this year's flu already reached its peak, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said the current data could be unreliable because it was collected at the end of the holiday season when few people schedule visits to the doctor (meaning fewer people receiving diagnoses).

All told, this "season" could last another 2 to 4 months! Cripes. What to do?! Like we said, it's not too late to get the flu shot -- but bear in mind flu vaccines don't protect against other nasty diseases making the rounds right now including a new form of norovirus and a severe strain of whooping cough -- so don't forget to stick to those hand-washing, good-hygiene basics!!

Have you managed to avoid the flu so far this year?

Image via msnbc.com

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zombi... zombiemommy916

I already had it and fyi, being 9 months pregnant with the flu is freakin awful..AWFUL lol...but still, nothing beats the swine flu I contracted when it reared it's ugly head...definitely the sickest I've ever been in my life!!! I'm nervous about this season because come Friday, I'll be having my cesarean and people are of course, going to be making the inevitable request to visit the hospital and once we get home as well...I can only hope that people are educating themselves and being cautious, otherwise we'll be on lockdown!!! Masks and gloves definitely required!!!

Deweymom Deweymom

Nope...both my kids came down with it. The 15mo old last week, the 4yo yesterday. (And they were both vaccinated back in October)

sterl... sterling21

If the statistics for the flu shot are accurate, than they it sounds like failure. If the CDC and pharma were in college, they would be getting "D" a failing grade. I can't trust people who use media scare tactics and can't even pass a statistics.

femal... femaleMIKE

@zombiemommy, When my friend had her baby during peak of the flu season 2 years ago.  The maternity ward had a "no visitor" policy.  So not even grandma was able to visit.  I thought it was good, it keeps sick people away. Hopefully, your hospital will adopt that. I can't understand why people would go visit an infant when they are sick.

CPN322 CPN322

No, 15 days now I'm still dealing with this crap :/ protect yourselves people as best you can! You do NOT want this crap. And the flu shot will not protect you by itself. My doctors wife got the shot and still got the flu and it lasted a whopping 12 days.

XxPix... XxPixiesworldxX

I feel like I have said this to a thousand people every day for 2 weeks but Its worth knowing. I babysit 2 kids who got the flu shot, they BOTH came down with the flu a few weeks ago, a confirmed case of it, they were VERY ill for 2 full weeks.

We are a non-vaxxing family, and while these children were in my home SICK the whole time due to the mom not wanting to take off from work, we barely became ill for 1 day. My son started to sound croupy (he is 3 and gets croupy with every cold) and I could feel aches and sore throat coming on strongly and knew we had all caught it. BUT the same day we started to feel ill, we took each, a clove of raw garlic. The next morning we were completely 100% fine. We continued to take it for 5 days. We never got the full blown flu, we just felt like we were going to for 1 day, literally...

It works. Try it.

XxPix... XxPixiesworldxX

and PS, I was 24 weeks pregnant at the time (currently 27). I didnt have to poison my baby or my body with tamiflu or flu shots or antibiotics.

Sasja... SasjaDuke

Agree with XxPixiesworldxX 100% about these things being nothing but poison. Use common sense and keep up a strong immune system the natural way. Don't believe the hype the media and pharmaceutical companies start EVERY year. 

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